Thursday, April 29, 2010

Craigs List Patio Set Make Over

We have been having unseasonably warm weather lately so I took advantage of  it and painted the patio table and chairs I scored on Craigs List.  Here's a pic of what they used to look like -the table was originally an aqua green color and the chairs were a dark hunter green.

A few cans of glossy black spray paint fixed that problem and now the chairs and table look like this:

I spray painted the chairs and table on a tarp outside and accidentally made some "art" in the process:

Next on my list is to find a patio umbrella.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Master Bathroom Reno- Day 9

The master bathroom reno is nearing the end of its completion.  Hopefully everything will be complete within another week or so but here's a quick recap of the past few days.

The bathroom project kicked off more than a week ago. To prepare, I went out and purchased 2 toilets (one for the master bath and the second for the powder room) a towel bar, toilet paper holder and sink faucet.  I had to drive around for a few days with a toilet in the backseat until DH could help me unload it from the car.  I also laid down carpet protector and rugs over the wood floor and assigned special shoes for us to walk on the protector so not to track the rest of the dust in the house.

The contractor and his guys showed up promptly on Day 1 and by the end of the day the entire bathroom was demo'd.  By Day 4 the floor tile and wall tile had been installed.  On Day 5, no work was done to give time for the tile to dry and Days 6 and 7 fell on the weekend.  On Day 8, the contractor couldn't make it out but I learned that I was going to have to find a shower door so I found myself in the Lowes plumbing department that night.  Thanks to some luck and a super strong store assistant, the Kohler glass shower doors I purchased fit into my Honda Civic.

On the morning of Day 9, the guys showed up on time and finished grouting the shower tile.  In the course of this madness, we also decided to have them re-tile our powder room floor so they got started on this.  In the meantime, three other guys showed up to install the bathroom vanity and sink.  The entire time I was basically confined to the living room except for when I was hovering around to get a glimpse of their work and trying to remind the guys to keep their feet on the carpet protectors.

Pretty much everything is done except that the shower doors have to be installed and the bathroom has to be painted.  I'm double guessing my choice of BM's Marilyn's Dress since it looks a tad lavender on the walls (so not the look I was going for).  Here's a peek of what the bathrooms looked like at the end of Day 9:

Master Bath:

Powder Room Floor:

Shopping for a Friend

One of the things I love most about moving is having a fresh slate to decorate your new place.  Since we just bought and moved into Chateau 809, I'm obviously not moving but one of my good friends is as she and her husband just bought a fabulous house.  Unfortunately, it's in another state so while I'm sad she's moving away, I'm happy to help her mull over decor decisions.

The other day she mentioned that she was recently at Crate and Barrel and had her eye on their Suffolk Settee. 

While she loves this piece, she doesn't quite love its $1,199.00 price tag.  I offered to look for some less expensive options for her and here's what I came up with:

JC Penney's Custom Teasdale Settee:

At $699 this is significantly less than Crate and Barrel's and nearly identical.  Best part about it is that you can customize it with different upholstery options.
Ballard Designs Hudson Upholstered Settee:

This one is priced from $799.00 to $1,183.00 and you can also customize it to be upholstered in a fabric you like.  Hopefully my friend will like one of these two beauties!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Foyer

The foyer has changed quite a bit from when we first moved into our house. Here's a look at the "before":

Gotta love that bug swapper and window curtain. Not to mention the lovely floor tile but that's probably the least offensive.

We started by first chipping up the floor tile and laying down wood flooring which was probably the biggest change.

Chipping up the floor tile was NOT as easy as we first thought. The stubborn little suckers refused to come up and it took a few hours of using a chisel and hammer before they were all removed. The area was still not entirely flat afterward and one of the guys who installed our floor had to spend another couple of hours trying to flatten the surface even more.
 We then painted the walls and changed out the light fixtures (we weren't planning on this step but after I broke a shade trying to change the light, it was necessary). The door also got a mini-makeover. We took down the window curtain and removed the chain lock but after we did that, the door had quite a few holes.

Luckily it was nothing that a little wood filler couldn't fix. After doing that and slapping a fresh coat of paint, it looks as good as new.

Here's what the foyer looks like now.

The table is from Ikea and the mirror was a Craig's List find (I'm told that it was originally purchased at Bombay Company) which I spray painted oil-rubbed bronze (aka orb). The rug is from Home Goods but I'm thinking of adding a runner instead. I also like the decor on the table but I'm thinking of changing it up a bit- maybe adding a lamp or table runner?

Wall Paint: Natural Wicker by Glidden
Door Paint: Custom Color Match
Table: Expedit table by Ikea
Mirror: Craig's List find
Floors: Lumber Liquidators
Light Fixture: Home Depot
Rug: Home Goods

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Painting the Master Bathroom

I'm hoping that the master bathroom gets finished up by Monday or Tuesday at the latest since the only things left to do are to grout the subway tile and install the vanity, mirror, toilet and light fixture. But before these things get done, I wanted to paint the wall behind the toilet and mirror since these areas will be the hardest to reach. Of course, in order for me to do that, I had to decide on a paint color and actually buy the paint. Anyone that knows me knows that I can't make these kinds of decisions easily but after some deliberating, I decided that a soft gray would be best for the room since it would compliment the marble tile and white vanity.

So while the bathroom guys took a lunch break, I took a trip to the closest paint store, which is less than a mile from my house and also a Benjamin Moore retailer. After deliberating over several gray paint swatches, I settled on a grayish-blue color called Marilyns Dress.


I picked it in part because it complimented the paint in the master bedroom which is Silver Mist (also by Benjamin Moore). Since I'm not allowed to walk on the tile, I painted a patch of it on one of the master bath walls while standing right outside the door. The color looks more ice-blue than gray to me and when I asked the hubs about it, he told me he thought it looked more blue-lavender. This was soo not the look I was going for but since I already went and bought a gallon of the stuff, I figured I might as well wait to see at least one entire wall painted before making a definitive decision on whether the color stays or goes. I'll keep you posted!

Master Bathroom Chaos

We're in the middle of renovating our bathroom and living in chaos in the meantime. The bathroom is taking a little longer than expected but hopefully it will be well worth it. Here is what our bathroom used to look like:

After day 1 of the renovations, our bathroom looked like this:

As you can see, we knocked down the tiny linen closet that used to be next to the shower. You can also see the 80s light fixture in this shot but we're getting rid of that too. After five not-so-full days of work, the bathroom now looks like this:

This isn't the greatest shot but you get a pretty good idea. The tile is carrera marble and the shower tile is stock subway tiles. Hopefully the toilet and vanity will go in on Monday.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Flea Market Finds

I went to a flea market this past weekend and found a few fun items I could use to decorate our shelves along with a couple of frames.

I plan on painting the rocking chair, foo dogs and tea pot to match everything.  I still have to decide where to hang the frames....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Mirror Wall

Although I'm not writing these posts in chronological order, one of the most major transformations in our house was the removal of the mirror wall.  When we bought the house, the living room contained a wall of full length, floor to ceiling mirrors.

We first tried to condition our offer on the old owners removing the mirrors, which they of course rejected.  We then had a contractor take a look at the mirrors and he thought it was possible for us to remove them ourselves.  We clearly had no idea what we were doing but thought to give it a shot anyway.

The day we closed, we took a crow bar and literally smashed it against the first mirror pane.  The thing didn't even shake, let alone crack.  It took several more whacks until we finally got it to splinter.  Although we tried taping the mirror to prevent it from breaking into a million pieces but we soon learned that the tape was more of a hinderance.

After a few hours, we had removed most of the mirror off of the walls.  The good news was that the dry wall behind it was fully intact as we found out that the mirror was secured to the wall with large wooden pillars which were screwed into the wall and tarred onto the mirror.  The bad news is that we now had large and small jagged pieces of broken glass and no way to discard it.  We called 1-800 Got Junk which had no problem hauling away a thousand pieces of broken glass.

We were left with a purple wall with long wooden pillars screwed into it.  It took us sometime to finish removing all of the pillars.  Mostly in part because some of the screws holding it down were stripped and hard to remove.  The other road block was that some genius tarred the mirror directly over the screws so we had to get through hardened tar to get to the screw.  I guess whoever put the mirrors up didn't think someone would want to take them down.  Of course while we were dealing with this, there were tiny shreds of broken glass that we constantly had to watch for.

When we finally removed all of the pillars and patched the holes, we had to sand and paint. With the wall re-painted and the mirrors removed, the wall looked like this:

It's not the greatest shot in the world, but you get the picture.  The paint color is Natural Wicker by Glidden.  The wall is now in need of some wall art.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Craigs List Find- Patio Set

With summer just around the corner and spring already here, I started thinking a lot about our patio and garden.  When we purchased the house last year, it was nearly the end of summer and with so much work to do on the inside of the house, we didn't spend too much time on the outside.  The only exception was pulling out the 6ft weeds that were growing in the garden and trying to clear out as many other weeds so it didn't look so much like a jungle.

Here is what the patio and garden looked like when we moved in.

You could barely see the gate and fence let alone make your way through all of the weeds to get to them.  After we cleared out all of the weeds, and planting two box cutter bushes, the garden and patio looked pretty much like this for the rest of the year:

Now with the weather warming up, I know we'll be looking to spend more time outside.  The first order of business was to try to find a new patio set.  The old owners left us a bistro table and chairs but it's too small for the space and ideally we'd like a table that would seat at least four.  After some initial browsing on-line at Target, Walmart and K-Mart, I turned to Craig's List.  After looking through the listings, I found an estate sale where I scored four metal patio chairs.  The owners were asking $10 per chair but I was able to get all 4 for $30.  About a week later, I found a table made of the same material that was being offered for free.  Score!  I just picked up the table and finished putting it together.  Here's what the patio looks like now:

Not too bad for $30.  I have plans to spray paint all of the pieces black so it looks cohesive.  Then I have to tackle the garden. :)